ST. LOUIS – The Florida Panthers began their five-game road trip near the back of a crowded field in the Eastern Conference playoff race. After sweeping the trip they’re near the top of the Atlantic Division.
Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
“It felt like we won the Stanley Cup for just a second,” said Trochek, who notched his team-leading 21st goal of the season. “I think to do it with four seconds on the clock, we showed a lot of poise there in the third period, even when they tied it up.”
Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip — their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.
Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.
Florida moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but has the edge because it has a game in hand on the Bruins.
“It’s a great group of players and everybody deserves it,” said Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe. “It’s been a long season, it’s been a hard season and now everything is coming together but again we’ve got a long way to go. It’s going to be a dog fight until the end of the season.”
Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues.
Coyotes 3, Ducks 2
In Glendale, Arizona, Radim Vrbata capped the Coyotes’ three-goal first period and the hosts held on to beat Anaheim.
Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4½ minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.